Biblical Allegory in ‘The Scarlet Letter’
Studies and analyzes the use of allegorical references in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’.
This paper traces the allegorical references to the Bible in Hawthorne’s novel. The writer shows how the aspect of sin in prevalent in every aspect of the novel. The story tells the tale of a young preacher and his mistress and of original sin. Original sin is seeking self-gratification or placing the self above the community. The writer shows the parallels of stories in the Bible and in the novel – the Garden of Eden, the sin of the apple and others.
“Sin is prevalent in society. There is no escaping the burden of sin. These facts are brought into view through Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. When the woman gives birth to a child, the sin of adultery comes into plain view of the Puritan society surrounding them. According to the Puritan view, there must be accountability for such actions. Such Puritan views originated from devout practice of biblical law, especially the Old Testament. There are several allegorical references to stories told in the Holy Bible. The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden parallels that of Hester and Dimmesdale, while the life of Hester closely resembles that of Queen Esther.”